James Reed Discusses Cutting Adult Children Out of the Will on ‘Pete the Planner' Radio Show
Have you ever considered cutting your adult children out of your will? BGD partner James Reed shared some advice to consider before drawing up the paperwork with “The Pete the Planner Radio Show” listeners on Sunday, June 15, 2014. He is a recurring guest on the weekly program hosted by Peter Dunn that airs on 93 FM WIBC from 4-6 p.m.
During the discussion, Pete the Planner zeroed in on the behavior and emotion behind what appears on the surface as a legal issue. Below are a few points that Reed shared during the broadcast concerning cutting adult children out of your will. The entire show is available for free download from the Pete the Planner website.
“Can I cut my adult children out of my Will?”
In my role as a relationship transition attorney, I have often been asked this very question. It is a tough one because the “whole” answer involves a great deal more than strictly applying the law. The simple legal answer is, “yes, you can cut your adult children out of your Will and any inheritance.”
However, it is important to examine why parents may be asking this question. In fact, asking the “why” can open the door to a larger and more meaningful discussion about shared values, expected behavior of grown children, community legacy, priorities and goals of the parent regarding their wealth, and expectations of children and perceived entitlements.
These topics are often very difficult for families to discuss openly, and I advise having those discussions early and often. I also recommend engaging in projects or philanthropic activities with the entire family so that all members get the opportunity to see the family’s values and priorities first hand.
“Can I…” should become, “How can our values and visions become our family’s values and visions?” Without those discussions and a family understanding of how any inheritance will be handled down the road, disappointment, hard feelings, feelings of rejection and devaluation will likely happen.